Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Lager - Schwarzbier
Ranked #53
Ranked #23,359
3.88 | pDev: 11.34%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Notes: Looks like a stout, drinks like a lager.

NightPils is an amped-up Imperialized Dark Lager that's black like the Winter night sky. The dark malt backbone brings notes of chocolate and dark fruits while the lager yeast provides a clean, silky finish. Like a cold chocolate milkshake at a Drive-In Double-Feature!

O.G.: 1.077
IBU: 60.5
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 42 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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jimmah120 from Minnesota

4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle no date

slimey and grimey

Resin and pinetar that sticks to the tongue. Boozy, but I didn't notice 'till the end of the bottle. Seriously sticky A1 soy hop steak sauce juice. Dark and pretty in the glass, it drinks real good

make it year-round, pls

Sep 30, 2019
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VABA from Virginia

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very dark color with a slight head and lacing
A- Aroma has chocolate and dark fruit hints
M-The taste follows the nose with a chocolate and dark fruit flavor
M-A medium bodied moderately carbonated beer
O-A well done Schwarzbier

Aug 20, 2019
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Gajo74 from New York

4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black, stout like color. A moderate foam head quickly dissipates.
The aroma is very stout like with notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and dark caramel. There are also notes of liquorice, mint, toasted malts and a bit of smoke.
The taste is a surprise in that despite the notes of dark chocolate and sweet caramelized malts, the flavors are significantly bitter. Roasted and charred malts, along with earthy hops, convey a smoky bitterness that is pleasant to drink. Yet the rich malt texture, which also evokes dark fruit, never really loses its sweetness, as both bitter and sweet interact beautifully.
Full bodied with a smooth and soft mouthfeel. The carbonation is gentle. The ABV is remarkably well hidden and the finish is dry, roasty and ashy.
Not your traditional Schwartzbiers, but quite enjoyable.

Jul 01, 2019
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark "cherry cola" brown with a thick dark tan head that has great staying power and leaves fantastic lacing. Aroma is faint, dark roasted malt with a wisp of campfire smoke. Flavor is more intense than the nose but the same dark roasted malts, smoke and a touch of chocolate. A bit sweet with no bitterness. Feel is smooth, only lightly carbonated. Overall a tasty beer.

Jun 05, 2019
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BenHoppy from Michigan

5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is not a Schwarzbier but I can see why it might resemble such but instead this should be labeled an imperial pilsner or perhaps a black imperial pilsner that is the style of this. He'll even the name is Night like and clocks in at 8.1% to ms is it and imperial pilsner and because it's an imperial pilsner and not a Schwarzbier I give it a 5 because it's perfect in every way. Drink from a snifter, dark like a stout or porter with flavors of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee like you would get out of a Schwarzbier but it's not a Schwarzbier it's an imperial pilsner and tastes like a pilsner with subtle chocolate and coffee with roasted malts and slight subtle hops. Plus a Schwarzbier shouldn't exceed an abv of 5.2 and this one does, therefore not a schwarzbier. But this is very very good when you're in the mood for a strong pilsner.

Mar 31, 2019
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hreb from Washington

3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a curved glass. Beer is all the way black, with a large and substantial brown foamy head. Looks too good to be a real Schwarzbier, which are typically on the thin side. Aroma definitely brings out a blackened malt profile, suggesting porter rather than black lager or pils. Flavor continues with that theme, offering roasty malts, bitter chocolate, and a dry, hoppy balance. The crisp mouthfeel suggests a lager yeast, but otherwise, this is not at all reminiscent of pilsner. Could just as well have been a strong dry stout. Still, really enjoyable, suitable for all climes and times.

Mar 21, 2019
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lagunitas Brewing Co. "Night Pils"
22 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "310 B 1 10575 1943" (whatever that means)
$5.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: So what is this? It looks like the label originally read Czech Style Pilsner but that's been blacked out with the word "Dark" placed over it. It's poured a black body beneath a foamy tan head so that makes sense. It smells of dark malts, with some dark chocolate, and some floral and mildly herbal hops. It's clean and welcoming. OK then, on to the flavor... so I'll call this a schwarzbier except that it's too strong at 8.1%. My initial thought was that it was going to be a black IPA but it's definitely not. Wow, I'm surprised that they were able to pull this off at 8.1% although you can taste the alcohol. Still, it's definitely in the schwarzbier vein. I'm getting some dark chocolate, a hint of roastiness, some nice grainy maltiness, a hint of floral hops, some very mild yeasty fruitiness, and a touch of licorice or anise. It's cool and almost minty in the dry finish. It's pretty decent, not going too far into the realm of roasty malts but definitely taking a few steps inside the circle. Hmmm, maybe I should rethink that... it is a touch roasty in the finish. I don't know, I'm still a little bit unsure about this. It's like a schwarzbier but it's bigger, and the alcohol shows and it's just not as drinkable as a standard schwarz ~ there's no real benefit to it's being bigger and stronger unless you just want that extra alcohol. It does remind me of some of the beers I've tasted in Prague, although a bit more hoppy, and I'll say that this isn't any better balanced than they were - not in a bad way, but not in a better way either. Looking back the head held well and there was some nice lacing but it wasn't the best it could have been. In the mouth it's medium bodied and crisp. I'm neither disappointed or enthralled. It's OK for what it is, and I'd enjoy another but I certainly wouldn't seek it out.
Review# 6,503

Mar 04, 2019
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Reidrover from Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle purchased from Winco in McMinnville OR.
Lovely looking beer in my dimped mug.Black with a tremendous frothy/rocky tan head!
Good caramel amd toffee malt aromas.. creamy fudge and a tinge of hops.
Taste has that bit of expected from a shwarz..also some milky licorice and coffee..very very nice.
Mouth feel is luxuriant..fells so smooth yet thick.
Very good beer..i am really enjoying this one on a cold rainy night..excellent value for the money!

Feb 24, 2019
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I know that I am supposed to be the ChAmpioN of CANned beers, but I retain an inherent curiosity that drew me to craft beer initially. This bomber showed up at the Friendly Greek Bottle Shop (FGBS), but I dragged my heels in favor of inCANming CANs until it finally fairly screamed at me to take it home. 8=( I finally could no longer resist & pulled the trigger. I hope that it is worthy!

From the Bottle: This is going to be tough to transcribe since the label is supposed to mimic being ripped with a light, white part representing Pils & the dark, black part representing Night. Here goes - "While ales are meaty, lagers are sinewy./which is bright and welcoming, and there is the NightTime kind,/lagers are 'haute couture'. Where an ale mi/NightTime is dark, deep and may take you to unexpected places,/and take your wallet, lagers donate to charity/NightTime is not suited for ordinary life and ordinary tasks,/While an ale might steal your car or try to dat/thing, meaning that those sorts of things may never get done,/keep her out all night doing who-knows-what/and you can pause (you have to, actually) and investigate/would offer to clean your house while you're/it is only possible under the spell of the NightTime. Seek the/fresh scones and coffee for you when you return/707.769.4495 or just c'mon by and visit … Day or Night …!"

I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle C-Line pour, only to be pleasantly shocked & surprised. I am used to seeing a pseudo-cascade in/from many dark-colored ales, but when it happened with this Lager-style beer, I was impressed! It eventually settled down to become two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with great retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) with NE-quality clarity & garnet highlights. Nose smelled of dark/baker's chocolate, light smoke, treacle, anise & a cool mintiness. THIS in a Lager-style beer?!? Not in a while, in my estimation. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but certainly big for a Lager. The taste was rather bitter, but that was just fine by me. Its bitterness was derived from the dark malts, creating an initially chocolaty smokiness that slowly gave 'way to a treacle & anise quality. Wow! Finish was cool, dry & minty, giving the entire experience a liquefied York Peppermint Patty quality. First of all, this was completely unexpected. Second, the inexpensive price point made it even better. YMMV.

Feb 22, 2019
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NickSMpls from Washington

3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As advertised, dark pour, tan head, a lot like an ale. Aroma is vague coffee / molasses. It's when you get to the taste you get this is not a dark ale, with a lighter-than-expected mouthfeel, no dominant roasted grain taste and a pleasant bitterness. If you close your eyes and ignore the dark color, it's a sharper version of a pilsner. Hard to equate this to a traditional German Schwartzbier, but that's as close as any. Being Lagunitas, it's well-made and tasty.

Feb 11, 2019
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sjrider from California

3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark as night with frothy chocolate milk head leaving some bubbly lacing .Nose is roasty malt and some hop notes. Taste follows with more toasty malt and significant hop bite. Wouldn't consider this a pils at all. Definitely Lagunitas.

Jan 26, 2019
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring from a 22 oz. bottle into a Pilsner glass, this beer pours out like a cola. It looks like it’s only going to form a pinky width crown until all the sudden forming a full finger width crown, spilling over the glass. Rocky, but creamy looking dark khaki colored crown. Has some light brown highlights throughout. Leaves stringy lacing throughout. Looks great to me.

The smell brings a nuttiness, creamy smelling, slight roast, some grain as well. Some sharpness.

The taste comes in with a beautiful sharp roastiness turning into more mellow notes of cream, grain, coffee. Huge bitter baker chocolate.

Mouthfeel is different. Because I’m getting that Pilsner crispness but with a creaminess that I love. Silky. Sharp and bitter, which I think is from hop presence and not the bitter baker chocolate I’m picking up. It resembles hops more.

Overall, I’m really not getting the ratings on this. I’m loving it, let alone for the style. The roasty notes mixing with bitterness and hop presence, creamy and silky mouthfeel. This is a treat and I will pick up more if you guys don’t want it.

Jan 19, 2019
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Riff from Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with a thick, tan, head. Smell is a little roasty with a bit of grapefruit pith, it's weak though and doesn't add much to the experience. Taste has the malt backbone, coffee, and a bit of bitter chocolate. Bite of pine hoppiness to it. Medium body, on the lighter side. Easy drinker. As a schwarzbier this is okay, a little high on the ABV I think and leans more towards bitterness, could use a touch of balance.

Jan 19, 2019
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WillDoucette from Washington

3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

this is a good beer but the bizarre attempt to call it a pilsener makes no sense.

I get some fantastic earthy smells from this.

nice bitterness from roasted malts and hops on finish

Jan 07, 2019
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Ice_Cream_And_IPAs from New York

4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Pours with a medium brown stream that forms a dark brown body. Lots of head formation with about two fingers of a khaki-colored cap. Head retention is pretty great, and there is a lot of lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Weird, unlike the beers I'm used to. Upfront, it smells like a normal pilsner. But almost immediately, coffee notes also become apparent, and in-fact overtake the aroma. Smell is not overly pungent, but pleasant.

Taste: Wow, very interesting taste too, that follows the nose. Very pilsnery-bitter upfront, with a great complement of coffee notes. Again, I don't think I've ever tasted anything quite like this, but I love what I'm getting here.

Feel: Medium body, with more feel than normal pilsners. Of course, that is to be expected with a high ABV of 8.1%. For that, alcohol is well hidden, with just a tad of warming. Medium to high carbonation.

Overall: Unique and pleasant offering, especially as a breakfast beer. I think that both lager/pilsner fans and porter/stout fans would enjoy this equally. Frankly, I believe that at its current BA score of 3.72, NightPils is severely underrated.

Jan 06, 2019
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Magnum-Mike from Oregon

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lately I've been moving away from IPAs and getting into other types of beers because it seems like IPAs have been overplayed.

I picked up this beer because it's marketed as a dark Pilsner and a limited release. Seemed kind of interesting.

However, I feel like the brewery is misleading people. This is simply a stout, marketed as a Pilsner. In no way is it a Pilsner.

The color is very dark, the flavor is very chocolatey or coffee like. And the alcohol content is nearly twice what a Pilsner should be.

As a stout, this is an easy drinking and decent beer, if not average. But it's not a Pilsner, and I think the brewery should label it correctly.

Dec 27, 2018
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Zorro from California

3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Light proof black colored beer it is very dark for the style. Very tall light brown colored head. This could pass for RIS. This gets the rare 5 rating for looks.

Smells Strongly of roasted malt and is strongly smoky. Scent of charcoal and and BBQ Grill. Faintly metallic smelling.

Starts out mildly sweet with a sharp bitter after taste. Tastes mostly of charred pine board. Flavorwise this is the kissing cousin of an Irish Stout.

Mouthfeel is about medium, it is very much like Guinness.

Overall is it a dry fairly bitter lager.

Dec 25, 2018
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, cola like colored body with a thick & frothy light brown head. Aroma reminds me of Nighttime, but not as bold - roasty malt, dark baker's chocolate, faint dank hops. Bolder flavors reminiscent of Nighttime with notes of roasted barley, dark chocolate, pungent pine, and grapefruit. Fuller body, resinous oily and sticky hops, bitter finish with pine lingering on the palate. This was good. Definitely an Americanized version of a Schwarzbier, because for the style it's over-hopped with American hops. If I had a choice, I'd take Nighttime any day, but this was good for something different.

Dec 19, 2018
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iguanodon from Utah

3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from the government store. Pours opaque dark brown with a small brown head. Aroma is roasted malt, caramel. Taste is very dry, unsweetened dark chocolate, malt, a hint of cherry. Pretty good.

Dec 15, 2018
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Rogerlb from California

4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Up front, one of my favorites during winter is Lagunitas' Nighttime, their "black IPA." This is a mix with their Czech pilsner.

This seasonal limited edition pours black as night, although "thin" like soda, not like motor oil. Pillow slight khaki head with a half finger of foam that laces and doesn't quite leave, even when you're at the bottom of your pint glass. Very attractive glass of beer.

Aroma is of plummy malts, with some grapefruit/citrus rind in there. Not overly juicy hoppiness.

Taste is roasty malt with more of that hop backbone, earth, but not pine (it isn't leaning in to IPA territory, which is why Nighttime works -- roasty malt without the bitter, same here). Chocolate notes, grass, toast. Damn thing has a body of a lager!! A creamy finish which makes it almost milkshake like.

It really is like a black ipa with a brighter finish. Not as sticky at the end. I'm getting sweet tobacco aftertaste. Quite good mix/ hybrid.

Dec 10, 2018
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TheSixthRing from California

3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottling code suggests this was bottled on 11/06/18

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown highlights and a big, tan, two-finger width head that holds for a good amount of time before eventually dissipating to thin, consistent layer of suds, building up around the edges. Lacing is nice, with a big sheet covering a good portion of the glass.

Smell - Mild roast, chocolate, grass and citrus hoppiness.

Taste - Roasty malts and with a hint of caramel, then the hops kick in with citrus pith and grass. Finishes much the same.

Mouthfeel - Light-to-medium in body with fair, tingly carbonation. Slick, easy drinker with a thin, dry finish.

Overall - Okay, I'm a bit confused. The label would suggest this is a blend of their Black IPA, NightTime, and their Czech Pils. The high ABV and IBUs would suggest that too, but no mention on their website. Regardless, it's okay. Nothing I'd be clamoring to buy again.

Dec 02, 2018
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unlikelyspiderperson from California

3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Not really sure what style this one is supposed to be but it certainly pours a midnight black, lovely thin sandy colored head.
Nose is light and bready. Cracker notes.
The flavor is also lightly bready and crackery, some light spice like rye. There's a lingering roastiness at the tail end. There's also a building bitterness that is very vegetal. After tasting it I'm still not sure what this style is, I suppose it does come across as a pils brewed with darker and roastier malts.
Mouthfeel is quite pleasantly light, carries the flavor quite well. Perhaps the most impressive feature of this beer, there is a depth of flavor that is impressive contrasted with the lightness in the mouth.
Overall I don't really know what to make of this beer. It's nice and I really like the idea that there will be more dark lagers on the market. This one is odd though, there is a bit excessive roastiness and a strange vegetal bitterness, and it generally just seems to be trying to be to many things at once and as a result isn't really anything.

Nov 30, 2018
NightPils from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 42 ratings